Heritage | How does Bank of America actively participate in the restoration of several of the masterpieces of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris? -Forbes France

PHILANTROPY | Bank of America (BofA) believes in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, educate and enrich societies, and create greater cultural understanding. This year, BofA has decided to support 19 major international projects, including part of the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris. Interview with Brian Siegel, Global Arts & Heritage Executive at Bank of America

Why does Bank of America support art restoration?

Brian Siegel: At the house of Bank of America, we believe that the arts strengthen human connections and contribute to greater cultural understanding. Art strengthens our communities by providing a space for diverse expression and therefore has a positive impact on the lives of our customers and employees. support for the arts BofA covers a wide range of local and global nonprofit institutions, which help us explore the creativity, complexity and collaborative spirit of the world around us.

Thanks to our Conservation of Works of Art Project, we provide grants to institutions around the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are at risk of deterioration. Our support for the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris is an excellent example of our approach.

Each year, we receive many requests for financial support for the preservation of works from institutions around the world, which highlights the enormous need for support for conservation and restoration. This is why we have always encouraged collaboration between the public and private sectors. We are now one of the leading arts support companies in the world and we are proud to help institutions preserve their heritage for generations to come.

Since 2010, our Art Conservation Project has supported more than 200 projects in 39 countries representing thousands of works from different art movements, different periods and, above all, different cultures. All of these works have one thing in common: they reflect the creativity, ingenuity and passion shared by people around the world for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Our Project for the Conservation of Works of Art is only part of a global and unwavering approach to supporting cultural institutions which includes grants, support for exhibitions and creative education programs. We also sometimes lend works from our own collection to complete or constitute an entire exhibition, free of charge.

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What is the aim of the BofA Arts Conservation Project? Who are the beneficiaries of the 2022 grants?

BS: Since its launch in 2010, our Works of Art Conservation Project has contributed to the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces, including paintings, sculptures and archaeological and architectural pieces of great importance for the cultural heritage and art history. In France, our first grant under this program was awarded to the Louvre in 2010 for the restoration of the Victory of Samothrace.

Among the 2022 winners are 19 major international projects representing a wide range of artistic disciplines, styles and cultural traditions in France, Australia, Spain, the United States, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and the United States. UK. For example, we have a project at the Brooklyn Museum that involves the preservation of a Golden Book of the Dead, a 6.4 meter long papyrus manuscript that is of tremendous historical significance. Another project, at the Kyoto National Museum, concerns the conservation of 15th century dōmaru armor, that worn by elite warriors in the 1400s. Above all, one of our flagship projects this year is in France, in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, which was damaged in the devastating fire of 2019.

The six angels of the Crucifixion are also covered in soot, ash and dust. They will be cleaned and the patina of the bronze will be restored.

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Our Art Conservation Project highlights the perpetual need for conservation and preservation. We hope in this way to help ensure that future generations can continue to celebrate and appreciate these historic works of art.

How is Bank of America supporting the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris?

BS: We provide financial support for the restoration of several of the cathedral’s masterpieces. The conservation effort is concentrated on the three main Baroque statues, the Vow of Louis XIII, the six angels of the Crucifixion and the floor of the choir.

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If you allow me a brief historical reminder, in 1698, King Louis XIV asked Monsignor Louis-Antoine de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris, to redevelop the choir of Notre-Dame Cathedral and to dedicate the sanctuary to his father’s dedication to the Virgin Mary. The work was completed at the beginning of the 18th century and kept by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc during a major restoration in the 19th century. In the catastrophic fire of 2019, the choir was damaged, requiring urgent and extensive restoration before the cathedral reopens in 2024.

The restoration work also includes the cleaning of the white marble statues of the Vœu de Louis XIII, the restoration of their bronze and their final polishing. Created by Nicolas Coustou (1658-1733), Guillaume Coustou (1677-1746) and Antoine Coysevox (1640-1720), these Baroque statues were not badly damaged by the fire but are covered in soot, ash and lead dust. The hand of Christ in the Pieta de Coustou (1723) is notably covered with crystallized lead.

The six angels of the Crucifixion are also covered in soot, ash and dust. They will be cleaned and the patina of the bronze will be restored.

Finally, the floor and the marquetry of the choir were seriously damaged by the fall of several voussoirs (stones used to build the arches) of the vaults of the choir. The restoration process will therefore include a complete cleaning of the floor, the replacement of damaged and destroyed polychrome tiles, the renewal of all the joints of the marquetry, the restoration of the original patina and a complete polishing of the floor.

How does Bank of America support Arts & Culture in France?

BS: Bank of America has been an active patron of arts and culture in France for many years. We have financed the restoration of important French works of art, we have partnered with French institutions for exhibitions, and we have loaned works from our own collection to institutions free of charge.

In 2021, at the Center Pompidou, we were the main company to support the very first retrospective dedicated to Georgia O’Keeffe, the “mother of American modernism”. The work of this pioneering artist is drained by Nature and our relationship with it. Our support has enabled the Center Pompidou to offer an unprecedented artistic and cultural education program to engage young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Paris. Designed for 400 students, this initiative is the largest educational program ever organized by the Centre Pompidou. She encouraged students to take an interest in gender, diversity and environmental issues. In the past, we have also sponsored the highly successful retrospectives of Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney at Centre Pompidouboth of which drew record crowds and also included outreach programs.

In addition, Bank of America was the main patron of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Louvre in 2019, which attracted over one million visitors, making it the museum’s most popular exhibition to date. At the same time, we supported the Louvre’s pilot program for access to education, which will encourage hundreds of disadvantaged young people from all over Paris to visit the exhibition for free.

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Lastly, we have been very active in France with our Works of Art Conservation Project. In addition to the Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre and the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, we supported the restoration of works of art in Orsay Museum, at the Musée national Picasso and in other French institutions, as well as works by emblematic French artists, such as Manet, Renoir and Cezannewhich are part of permanent collections abroad.

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Heritage | How does Bank of America actively participate in the restoration of several of the masterpieces of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris? -Forbes France

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